Year : 2010  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 9-17

Adipocytokines: The pied pipers

Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Technology and Engineering, The M. S. University of Baroda, Vadodara - 390 001, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Hardik Gandhi
Pharmacy Department., Faculty of Technology & Engineering, Kalabhavan, Dandia Bazaar, Vadodara-390001, Gujarat
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0976-500X.64530

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Even though there have been major advances in therapy, atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease retain their lead as one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality in the first decade of 21 st century. To add to the woes, we have diabetes, obesity and insulin resistance as the other causes. The adipose tissue secretes several bioactive mediators that influence inflammation, insulin resistance, diabetes, atherosclerosis and several other pathologic states besides the regulation of body weight. These mediators are mostly proteins and are termed "adipocytokines". Adiponectin, resistin, visfatin, retinol binding protein-4 (RBP-4) and leptin are a few such proteins. Adiponectin is a multimeric protein, acting via its identified receptors, AdipoR1 and AdipoR2. It is a potential biomarker for metabolic syndrome and has several antiinflammatory actions. Adiponectin increases insulin sensitivity and ameliorates obesity. Resistin, another protein secreted by the adipose tissue, derived its name due to its involvement in the development of insulin resistance. It plays a role in the pathophysiology of several conditions because of its robust proinflammatory activity mediated through the activation of extracellular signal regulated kinases 1 and 2 (ERK 1/2). In 2007, resistin was reported to have protective effect in ischemia-reperfusion injury and myocyte-apoptosis in the setting of myocardial infarction (MI). RBP-4 is involved in the developmental pathology of type 2 diabetes mellitus and obesity. Visfatin has been described as an inflammatory cytokine. Increased expression of visfatin mRNA has been observed in inflammatory conditions like atherosclerosis and inflammatory bowel disease. Leptin mainly regulates the food intake and energy homeostasis. Leptin resistance has been associated with development of obesity and insulin resistance. Few drugs (thiazolidinediones, rimonabant, statins, etc.) and some lifestyle modifications have been found to improve the levels of adipocytokines. Their role in therapy has a lot in store to be explored upon.

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